Dir. Dave McCary
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“Remember, curiosity is an unnatural emotion!”
Get ready to grin, have your heart broken and yet have your wellbeing boosted by the star of an old-school, lo-fi, educational children’s TV show which can only be accessed on VHS tapes… Yes, Brigsby Bear is here - an evil-battling, universe-saving hero who makes up with heart and bravery what his show lacks in special effects budget…
"love at first sight"
You see the Brigsby Bear show was created for an audience of just one person - James Pope (Kyle ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ Mooney) – I won’t spoil why this is the case but just be aware that his ‘parents’ Ted (Mark ‘The Last Jedi’ Hamill) and April (Jane ‘Twin Peaks’ Adams), aren’t all they seem.
With the TV show cancelled it falls to James make the film – a quest he embarks on with the help of his friends and family who include the all-around good guy Spencer (Jorge ‘Spiderman Homecoming’ Lendeborg Jr.), and wannabe actor Detective Vogel (Greg Kinnear).
"The Force will be with you"
Brigsby Bear is a wildly unconventional breakthrough film that feels bit like last year’s excellent Hunt For The Wilderpeople in that it mainlines joy directly delivering into your central cinematic pleasure cortex.
First-time Director Dave McCary has created a contagious feel-good comedy that transcends the darkness of its plot with a lust for life narrative driven by an incredible performance by Mooney.
Kyle Mooney who is known for being a funny man on Saturday Night Live, is just exceptional in bringing a winning sweet, wide-eyed performance which could become a cinematic cult icon. James is an honest innocent whose belief that things can be ok if he just makes the Brigsby Bear movie is driven by an undeniable optimistic zeal. The filmmaking journey he goes on depicts how teamwork, faith in others and self-belief.
With near-perfect casting, great direction and an attention to detail that screams of this being a project made with passion, everything from the score through to the masses of unique Brigsby merchandise made as props adds to the enjoyment.
This is a rare treat of a film which sits happily alongside the output of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze or maybe even David Lynch (if he went for a comedy)… Brigsby Bear is a modern day parable of how life needs reference points and meaning, which will make you think as much as it will make you smile – clue: a lot!!
Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4.5 - Life affirming oddballness is full of win...)
Awesomeness öööö – Excellent and heartfelt entertainment
Laughs öööö – Very funny, but dark too
Horror öö – Adult themes but nothing too grim
Spiritual Enlightenment öööö - Life has a way